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The People’s Panel
Their own health and care experiences

Before listening to other people’s experiences from the Community Conversations, members of The People’s Panel were split into breakout groups and asked to share their own health and care stories. When the groups later gathered together as one, three themes had risen to the top:

Here’s an anonymised selection of the things people said:

Inefficiencies and waiting times
  • “Waiting times have been an issue, especially with seeing a GP.”
  • “A friend is a single mum and is awaiting surgery. She cannot work due to health issues. But surgery keeps being postponed. She is scared.”
  • “The referral process is disconnected and inefficient because it is outdated. It has not evolved with the needs of people and advances in technology.”
  • “I worked for the NHS for one year, about 8 or 9 years ago, in a health centre. I didn’t know what I was there for a good part of that time. I think money could be spent more wisely.”
  • “Friends have used the private sector. Things seem to work more efficiently and precisely there.”
  • “People work so hard. And they don’t get paid enough.”
  • “Until everything is okay for the workers, we won’t get anywhere.”
  • “We’ve lost so many nurses and doctors over the last couple of years, leaving the country to work elsewhere under better conditions. So now we’re short-staffed.”
  • “Long working hours make it hard for professionals to provide high service. Working hours should be reviewed.”
  • “Many carers are self-employed contractors. They are under acute time pressure, always rushing around to make ends meet.”
Prevention (and the responsibility of the individual)
  • “There’s too much focus on treatment. Health is about getting it right before you get ill. Prevention is really important, particularly as people get older.”
  • “If we treat early we deal with less complex needs. And it’s cheaper.”
  • “There should be more emphasis on individual responsibility for taking care of your health.”
  • “We all pay for it through our National Insurance. It annoys me when people who go to A&E for a runny nose or a grazed elbow.”

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